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Brett Westwood investigates the potential for restoring large areas of heathland that could be unlocked by the thinning of Forestry Commission woodlands.
Made famous by Thomas Hardy and purple with heather in late summer, lowland heaths are some of the UK's rarest habitats and are home to some of our most specialised wildlife including sand lizards, insectivorous plants and the strange nightjar. They have steadily declined over the last century, but a new open habitats consultation could spell the restoration of large tracts of heathland from Forestry Commission woodland.
Brett talks to foresters and conservationists about the possibilities that opening up our woods present for people and for wildlife.